Journal of Immunology Research

Journal of Immunology Research / 2000 / Article

Open Access

Volume 8 |Article ID 51534 | 12 pages |

Expression of T-Cell Receptor β-Chain mRNA and Protein in γ/δ T-Cells from Euthymic and Athymic Rats: Implications for T-Cell Lineage Divergence

Received29 Oct 1998
Accepted17 Mar 1999


The relationship between α/β and γ/δ T-cell lineages was studied in rats using RT-PCR analysis of TCRβ transcripts in γ/δ T-cell hybridomas and an intracellular staining technique to detect TCRβ protein in primary γ/δ T-cells. We report the presence of functional TCRβ transcripts in 2/9 γ/δ T-cell hybridomas. About 15 % of peripheral γ/δ T-cells and thymocytes also express TCRβ protein, giving a minimum estimate for successful Tcrb rearrangement based on exvivo single cell analysis. In athymic rats, γ/δ T-cells expressing intracellular β protein are present but at a lower frequency than in euthymic controls, suggesting that in the thymus, more γ/δ T-cell precursors pass through a stage where functional β rearrangement has occurred than in extrathymic sites. Analysis of TCR expression in purified transitory immature CD4-8+ (iCD8SP) thymocytes and their spontaneously developing CD4+8+ (DP) progeny showed that TCRγ mRNA is expressed in iCD8SP cells but not in their immediate DP progeny that reinitiate RAG-1 transcription and commence α/βTCR expression. We conclude that rat γ/δ T cells can separate from the α/β lineage after TCRβ expression, but not after entry into the DP compartment.

Copyright © 2000 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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